One hundred red squirrel sites under surveillance

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Red Squirrel Watch volunteers are reminding people 
in the region of the need to 
report any sighting they have of squirrels in the region.

A recent visit to the Potato dDy Show in Kelso resulted in them being told of many sightings of squirrels, both red and grey, in the Borders. But it also transpired that many people had not appreciated the importance of reporting their sightings.

These are vital for the conservation work of scientists and volunteers, who also give advice on control and work with children at the Hirsel at Coldstream as part of their education programme.

For the first time ever Red Squirrel Watch volunteers are monitoring one hundred sites as part of a five year survey project and at this time of year woodlands in the Borders are under surveillance.

Feeders filled with maize and sunflower seeds are placed within a 2km sq area and monitored every two weeks during a six week period.

Sticky pads placed under the lid of the feeder are removed, hopefully with hair samples left behind by hungry squirrels. The pads are sent for analysis to determine whether they are being used by grey or red squirrels. Grey squirrel hairs are round when seen under a microscope, red hairs have a clear groove.

Sightings information and survey records will all help to create a picture of where squirrels are at this time of year.

Send any recent sightings to karen @redsquirrels or call 01750 23446.